Originally published in 1971 this book begins with the assumption that the Dissolution of the Monasteries was neither an integral nor an essential part of the English reformation. This book pursues the story chronologically and thus helps students re-discover what contemporaries knew was happening at each successive stage. An important part of this process consists in watching - with the help of a selection of surviving records - how the Court of Augmentation went to work not only centrally but in the field. The part played by Thomas Cromwell, in both the devising and the carrying out of the Dissolution is reassessed and particular attention is paid to the chronological relation between his career and the early stages of the dispersal of the crown's new resources among the King’s subjects.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Introduction 1. Problems and Documents 2. The Crown and the Smaller Monasteries 3. The Great and Solemn Monasteries 4. The Court of Augmentation Takes Charge 5. The Dispersal of Monastic Lands Part 2: Documents 1. A Petition of Some Knights of Parliament, 1410 2. Bath Cathedral priory Lease, 1528 3. A Petition from the Parish of Wembury, Deon 4. Monastic Resources a) Valor of the Revenues of Walsingham Priory, 1535 b) Pipewell Abbey’s Grant to Cromwell, 1531 5. A Plan for Root and Branch Disendowment of the Church 6. Departing Canons of Bodmin: The Prior’s Letter, 1535 7. The Visitors’ Injunctions, 1535 8. Representations from the Monks of St. Augustine’s Bristol 9. The Uses of Founders: Bridlington Priory, 1535 10. Parliamentary Half-Measures: The Act of 1536 11. The Commissioners’ Instructions, 1536 12. Popular Reactions at Exeter 13. Brief Certificate for the County of Sussex 14. Thomas Starkey and the Redisposition of Monastic Wealth 15. The King’s Instructions Regarding the Monks of Whalley, 1537 16. The Priors’ Fee’d Men 17. Pressures and Responses, 1538-9 18. Royal Authority to Dissolve, 1539 19. Eyewitnesses at Gloucester, 1538 20. The Commissioners in the West, 1539 21. Deed of Surrender of Forde Abbey, 1539 22. Dissolution Accounts of St. Osyth’s Abbey, Essex, 1539 23. Statutory Confirmation of the King’s Title, 1539 24. A Moment in Time: Evesham, 1540 25. The Act Establishing The Court of Augmentations, 1536 26. Ministers’ Accounts. 27. Receivers’ Accounts 28. Treasurers’ Accounts 29. Provision for Lay Servants 30. The Settlement of Monastic Debts 31. The Augmentation Officers in the Field 32. Request to Purchase 33. The Third Commission to Sell Crown Lands, 1543 34. Particulars for Grants 35. A Licence to Alienate, 1544 36. A Speculator Unmasked 37. The Conversion of Titchfield Abbey 38. The Former Religious in a Secular World 39. Another Statutory Half-Measure 40. Proceedings in Court.
Mortimer Levine was Professor of History at the University of West Virginia, USA.